Foil Attack distance

Discussion in 'Rules and Referee Questions' started by jkormann, Oct 28, 2018.

  1. jkormann

    jkormann Podium

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    At least I think it's related to distance..
    FoR and FoL are maintaining advance-lunge distance.
    FoR takes the advantage and does an advance-lunge; FoL steps back preventing the attack from landing.
    FoR recovers forward, maintaining extension (PIL?); FoL retreats past advance-lunge.

    Q: Does FoR still maintain priority? Does FoR need to re-establish priority when he re-closes distance. Or can FoL make an extension effectively stealing priority?
     
  2. Goldgar

    Goldgar Podium

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    Everything in the scenario preceding this is irrelevant. ROW is predicated on threat, and if the fencers are beyond advance-lunge distance, there can be no threat. Therefore, while they are beyond advance-lunge distance, neither can have right-of-way. Either fencer can then potentially establish point in line, or close into attack distance to begin an attack. If, at the time the fencers close to advance-lunge distance, they are both attacking, then they are simultaneous attacks.
     
  3. Inquartata

    Inquartata Podium

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    Tell that to the referee corps.
     
  4. Goldgar

    Goldgar Podium

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    The referee corps has told it to me. What have you seen that contradicts it?
     
  5. Inquartata

    Inquartata Podium

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    Well, when your attack falls short and your opponent stops, and you throw out a PIL and retreat multiple steps before he begins to come after you, and multiple steps more after he begins to come after you, and he searches for your blade and does not find it but continues on anyway and hits, and your point hits, and the referee still calls it his attack and your line not established, well...

    I don't know of many referees who will bother with "out of step lunge-distance" when assessing whether the attack is valid. I have not seen it called that way in at least 10 years. The attack is the attack is the attack. And when it's not it's still "the initial offensive action" at whatever distance it begins.
     
  6. Goldgar

    Goldgar Podium

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    I've seen it called correctly (i.e., as I said <g>) a number of times in recent years -- in foil. Of course, saber refs are notorious for ignoring the rules, so I wouldn't rule out the possibility. Still, sounds like a bout-committee call to me.
     
  7. tbryan

    tbryan Podium

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    I'm not sure whether I understand the question. I'll give a few examples around the edges of what you're asking, including the call that I'd expect. And you can see whether that helps.

    1. FoR attacks. FoL steps back to prevent the initial attack from landing. FoL immediately changes direction (without taking extra steps) and starts to move both hand and foot forward. FoR redoubles or recovers forward to attack again. Both fencers hit.

    The call:
    Attack right. No.
    Attack left. Touch.
    Point for FoL.
    (FoR's redoublement was basically a counterattack into FoL's attack.)

    2. FoR attacks. FoL steps back to prevent the initial attack from landing. FoL was off balance enough that he took an extra step back even after FoR's lunge was finished. FoR immediately redoubles. FoL immediately changes direction and starts to move both hand and foot forward. Both fencers hit.

    The call:
    Attack right. No.
    Reprise right. Touch.
    Point for FoR.
    (FoL's was making a counterattack into the reprise.)

    3. FoR attacks. FoL steps back to prevent the initial attack from landing. FoR keeps his arm extended in a point-in-line (PIL) position. FoL immediately changes direction (without taking extra steps) and starts to move both hand and foot forward, finishing his advance and making a lunge. Both fencers hit.

    The call:
    Attack right. No.
    Attack left. Touch.
    Point for FoL.
    (FoR's point-in-line wasn't established in time.)

    4. FoR attacks. FoL steps back to prevent the initial attack from landing. FoL was off balance enough that he took an extra step back even after FoR's lunge was finished. FoR keeps his arm extended in a PIL position. FoL changes direction and starts to move both hand and foot forward, finishing his advance, and then making an advance-lunge. Both fencers hit.

    The call:
    Attack right. No.
    Point-in-line right. Touch.
    Point for FoR.
    (FoL's attack didn't start until after the PIL was established.)

    But see my previous comments on fencing.net about getting a PIL called. I think that this is an easy one for the referee to miss, especially if it's the first PIL that FoR has attempted. It's safer for FoR to hit with a redoublement here instead of just making a PIL.

    5. FoR attacks. FoL steps back to prevent the initial attack from landing. FoL was off balance enough that he took an extra step back even after FoR's lunge was finished. FoR recovers forward. Both fencers kind of hang out for a moment out of distance. Then something happens where both fencers hit.

    The call:
    Whatever the call would be for that same something if it happened in any other neutral context. Once FoR misses, and then both fencers hang out without making an action for a full tempo, we're essentially back to neutral. Someone has to establish right-of-way on the subsequent exchange.
     
  8. Inquartata

    Inquartata Podium

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    That would I think run aground on the reef of "No decision on a question of fact can be the subject of an appeal".

    "PiL was not established".

    "We refs are more than a match for you, Two-Sheds."
     
  9. jkormann

    jkormann Podium

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    This is what I'm questioning. In all most of your cases FoR and FoL are within the first engagement's advance-lunge distance.

    Rephrasing the question a bit, which closely matches your example #3:
    In foil, does the attacker lose priority if the original attack fails by falling short, but both fencers remain within advance-lunge distance, and the original attacker does not withdraw the attack.

    You're staying that the timing comes into play. Why should an attack in foil be time-dependent if it successfully threatens target?

    edit - stuff
     
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2018
  10. keropie

    keropie Podium

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    So I'm somewhat confused, but let me answer what I think you're asking.
    If an attack ends without landing (either because the attacker missed, the defender moved, the foil gods hate them, or whatever), one of two things happens: either the phrase continues with an immediate action/reaction from one fencer or the other, or the phrase ends because both fencers wait.

    If the phrase continues, the defender has the 'right' to the next action. It may be an attack, I guess it could be a point in line, or they may make a mistake and search/wait/look the wrong direction or whatever. But if the phrase continues (i.e., one or both fencers immediately react) and there is a simple attack on both sides, the defender will generally be rewarded.

    If the phrase ends due to both fencers pausing, then we begin a new phrase when one or both fencers decide to do something. Based on that/those something(s), we make a call.

    For me the specific example in the original post is:
    FoR - Attack, no;
    FoR - line established (as FoL is retreating, effectively declining to make his/her own action)
    And then the phrase ends, as we don't know what happens next; if FoL just attacks without addressing the line, and FoR maintains a line, it's a line. Or maybe FoR decides to stop waiting and redoubles, or whatever.

    Regarding if you 'lose' priority by failing an attack within distance but maintaining the extension, yes, you do. If somehow you're able to finish your attack with a fully extended arm with your opponent within advance lunge distance, but you miss, and while maintaining your extension your opponent attacks you and you both hit, I would still call 'attack, no; attack yes.' It seems pretty hard to set all that up. Now, if you attack, they retreat, you maintain extension, they hesitate, then they attack against your extension, you may very well have 'attack, no; line established; attack onto line. Line - touche.'

    And obviously the attack only has context relative to timing; your attack has a duration, a beginning, middle, and end, and after the end it's over. If the beginning of your attack is after the beginning of theirs, well, yours is a counterattack, not an attack at all.

    It's also not universally agreed that 'threat' only extends to advance lunge distance, nor, of course, is there an actual measurement for advance lunge distance (there's variability between fencers, based on direction, for a given fencer in a given direction based on environment, energy expenditure, etc.). The simple attack is correctly executed with, at most, two pieces of footwork, but the composed attack can certainly be more. Currently in foil there is a resurgence of the idea that if you are pressing, your opponent moves out of your advance lunge distance, and then immediately begins their own attack, they may actually be the attacker, and that is partially due to the distance. It means that as the attacker, you must maintain some pressure moving forward on the attack.
     
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  11. Mac A. Bee

    Mac A. Bee is a Verified Fencing ExpertMac A. Bee Podium

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    You may appeal a mis-application or misunderstanding of a rule.
     
  12. keropie

    keropie Podium

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    True; but what Inq is saying is that the ref will just say 'you were not in line,' which means there's no application/understanding to appeal to.
     
  13. Goldgar

    Goldgar Podium

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    You have to pin them down on the facts of the case. If they say you were never in line, you can't do anything. If they say your line was not established before your opponent began their attack, then you can ask them whether your opponent was outside of advance-lunge distance when you placed your line. If they say yes, then you can appeal to the bout committee.
     
  14. keropie

    keropie Podium

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    Sure. Most refs are unlikely to give you that much information, and even if they do I wouldn't count on getting it overturned. The rulebook states that attacks began when the opponent is 'in line' are scored for the opponent, but do not categorically state that it must be simple attacks. Composed attacks can be multiple steps. Not that I believe you should be able to make multiple advances against a line, finally lunge, and get the touch, but I wouldn't bet a whole lot on the outcome of that appeal.
     
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  15. Inquartata

    Inquartata Podium

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    Precisely. An experienced ref will probably not be pinned down like that. He may repeat the call---which of course is succinct and contains no details---but then it will be "En guard" and you continue to question/argue at your peril.
     
  16. Goldgar

    Goldgar Podium

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    That's a completely different thing from the question at hand (as I understand it). I don't think we're talking about whether a line can be established against an attack begun within distance, by backing up so as to make the attacker take multiple steps. There are different views on that issue, but I didn't read the OP that way. The OP says, "FoL retreats past advance-lunge. … Does FoR still maintain priority?" I say no, because if FoL is at more than advance-lunge distance, FoR cannot be attacking. Therefore, if FoL establishes point in line while FoR is beyond advance-lunge distance -- couldn't hit them with an advance-lunge even if they stood still -- that line has priority.
     
  17. Spenzario

    Spenzario Rookie

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    What about the measures of a step and a lunge. A tall fencer against a small fencer. To reach to the taller fencer, the smaller one has to make 2 steps. Or has to close the distance. In that case the taller one has enough to make just a lunge to make the hit.
     
  18. Allen Evans

    Allen Evans Podium

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    Folks, priority isn't an equation you can solve where "X + 1 > X" or "Y > X > Z" in such a way that priority in any future bout is always going to be resolved by going back to a formula.

    While there is a sketchy hierarchy of actions laid out in the rules, that outline is more a set of "boundary" conditions then real solutions for questions of priority, and even those conditions are based on fencers executing technique with a reasonable level of skill. Priority is often more about "firstness" and "action/response" This is why many on this forum constantly repeat: "What were the fencers doing before this?" when a question about priority is raised.

    No matter how tall the two fencers are, at some point distance has closed enough so that one of the fencers is going to be able to reach the other simply by making a lunge. The question here isn't who covered how much distance, but should really be "Who started what, and when?". It's possible to drill down deeper by asking further questions such as: "Why did that fencer lunge? Because they were finishing a properly started attack? Or because they were about to get hit?"

    Which means of course, that if you are refereeing, you have a concept of what an "attack" is and what it looks like, when it occurs, and what a response to that attack may look like.

    I understand the desire to try to make simple rules to solve some of these situations with priority, and the urge to draw simple models to illustrate what seems like contradictions in calling time. I did it myself when I first started refereeing, and while relying on them when I refereed worked "sometimes", or even "most of the time", I also realized that I had to advance beyond them and really study the sport if I wanted to referee at any sort of level.
     
  19. Allen Evans

    Allen Evans Podium

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    Actually, after thinking about this for a few hours, it occurs to me that this sort of "formula" approach is very pervasive in fencing, especially in coaching. I can't tell you how many times I've seen coaches teach preparations (in all three weapons) with the linear idea of :

    Preparation by Student --> Reaction from Coach--> Scoring action from Student

    Fencing, of course, doesn't happen this way, and it's a bit lazy for the coach to teach it this way, but "its the way it's always been done".
     
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  20. Strytllr

    Strytllr DE Bracket

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    But it's done like that exactly for the same reason that you did it for yourself when you started refereeing. You have to start that simply, because it is necessary to work with something blocky like that in the beginning. Later, as the student gets more experience and is comfortable, you start fudging the lines and making it more dynamic and realistic.
     
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